Apple iPad cannibalizes netbook sales

Apple’s wildly popular iPad is apparently cannibalizing netbook sales, at least, according to Asustek.

DigiTimes reports that Asus tracked netbook sales “falling short” of official expectations in the second quarter, primarily due to competition from the iPad.

Consequently, the company has adjusted its target shipments downward for Q3 – the traditional peak sales period – to just 1.4 million units.

“Because of decreased shipments of motherboards, notebooks and netbooks, Asustek’s financial performance for the second quarter declined on quarter,” confirmed Asus CEO Jerry Shen.

“[But we] will continue to offer Eee PCs and will step into the tablet PC segment with its Eee Note and Eee Pad series.”

Shen added that Asustek has been “gradually increasing” outsourced production, with the proportion of total production slated to rise to 30% by the end of 2010 and 50% in 2011.

As AppleInsider’s Slash Lane notes, Apple’s iPad has long been viewed as a netbook killer, with the device “even positioned” as one by Steve Jobs.

“When the iPad was first unveiled in January, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs directly compared it to existing netbooks on the market, [saying] that he felt the new product was lighter and more useful than low-cost netbooks, which he said are just ‘cheap laptops,'” wrote Lane.

“With a 9.7-inch display and weighing just 1.5 pounds, the keyboard-less, touchscreen iPad is a much different form factor from the traditional laptop. [And] Apple [has successfully] vaulted past Asus and others, [with] the iPad [selling] 3.27 million units in its first three months of availability.”